The Twitter fiasco that embarrassed Star Sports India recently is likely to take a new turn. Highly placed sources at the network and people close to the development have confirmed that STAR India is likely to overhaul its social media protocol in terms of vigilance and security.
A development is likely to take place within a week. Senior multiple sources we spoke to shared that this is being done keeping the long-term brand equity of the network in mind.
The overhauling could be on the parameters of accountability, security and the number of people managing the social accounts of the network. This would be applicable to the entire network and not just Star Sports. The channel issued an apology on Twitter on November 5 for the abusive tweet, which according to the Group was made by a third party vendor who had abused his privileged access to the account. “We apologise for the abusive tweet which found place on our handle. We have investigated the issue. A third party vendor had abused his privileged access to the account. We in the process of taking necessary action and will ensure that no such event recurs,” tweeted the Star Group on November 5.
As per senior sources, the social media accounts of the Group are handled by multiple agencies that have access to different platforms on social media, but this is likely to change.
Will this change social media orientation of brands?
The Twitter fiasco has again ignited the debate on how social media should be handled by big brands. Although the Star Group had issued formal apology accepting the mistake and this is unlikely to impact the brand value of Star Sports in the long run, critics argue that some damage has taken place.
Rashmi Putcha, CEO and Co-founder, Digital Marketing Training Institute said, “These days agencies that handle social media for brands are taking youngsters who usually do not understand the gravity of such a situation. There exists a training deficit at their ends. Also, multiple agencies handling one account eventually results in lack of tonality on various platforms. I don’t say that young people cannot handle the social media, but there needs to be proper training on how to handle big brands on these platforms as stakes are high.”
Star Sports Twitter account has more than 141K followers.
“Such cases have happened earlier as well. The problem is common and it arises because agencies take social media posting as a trivial task and often place freshers/interns to handle them. The interns might not understand the seriousness of the brand. Agencies should make sure that experienced candidates handle clients. Other important point is the tools that are used. Most tools allow posting from multiple accounts and that is a perfect scenario for disaster. Employees should see that they don't add brands and testing accounts on the same dashboard. Rest, people obviously have to be alert when they handle client properties. In Star Sports' case, multiple tweets were sent before they noticed the problem,” said Abhinav Sahai, Co-founder, Niswey Digital Marketing.
Star Sports is currently very aggressive in promoting its new initiatives. Star India recently committed Rs 20,000 crore to bring ‘sports first’ STAR India commits Rs 20,000 crore to bring 'sports first'.
Star Sports comprises six channels, four in Standard Definition, which would be called Star Sports 1, Star Sports 2, Star Sports 3 and Star Sports 4, and two High Definition channels called Star Sports HD 1 and Star Sports HD 2. The channels will air over 5,000 hours of live sports content and a slew of shows and formats in the calendar year 2014. Also in the network is Starsports.com, a digital platform that looks to provide rich, live content, some of which would be accessible only in pay format.